I was far away from home when a friend of a friend said she had a word from God for me. She had been praying about it for weeks. I sat on a tall stool in her friendly kitchen with my hands in my lap.
Mostly she wanted to talk to me about the stars. My name means “star.” I have a star tattoo on my shoulder. I have the word “star” in my email address. She told me about the beauty of the stars. She told me about their brilliance, and their mystery. Their capacity to inspire wonder, the way they carry the very light and brilliance of Heaven.
Then she said this. “I believe that your life carries a quality much like this. There is something about your life that is meant to fill people with wonder, to make them delight in an enormous God.”
I bit my lip.
She went on, “You are like a star to be on display, capturing something of Heaven and making it tangible on Earth.”
The resistance rose up in me instantly. Ferociously. What does this woman know, anyway? Where does she get off placing a prophecy on my life? What are her credentials?
But the resistance was followed by a rush of hopefulness, a kind of expansion of the heart…the hopefulness of being chosen. Not left last picked as I was when the children picked teams for dodge ball years ago, but chosen.
I might be chosen. I might be chosen to be someone who carries the light.
In theory, I believe that each and every one of us is called to carry light. I believe that in our very being, revealed, is the expression of God’s masterful creation. I believe that each one of us carries a seed of Heaven, and that God delights in us. Even that each one of us is God’s poem.
And yet, when I am named — me, myself, by the qualities that make me unique among all others — when I am named this way, I balk. I resist. I close the door.
This is everything I know about spiritual warfare: the clarity of the call, simultaneous with the resistance. The self-punishment and self-humiliation, rising as a force precisely equal and opposite to the call.
I hear a voice like this in my own head. I can’t accept a calling like this on my life. This is too self-enlarging. Too aggrandizing. Too much ego, too much danger. Too much. Too much.
I embrace these messages, and I stop up my mouth. I shrink myself down. I hide my voice. I say this is the right thing to do. This is humility. This is meekness. This is how I fight the sin of ego and pride. This is how I serve God. I become small. I make myself ugly. I hide my light.
But even all this resistance is not strong enough to hide that rush of joy. Still I feel it, the expanding of the heart. The deep knowledge that, yes, this Creation is vast and magnificent, and I am a part of it. I have a place, right here, in and among these wonders, and no darkness or resistance can drive me out.
The truth whispers to me, insistent and urging, that a desire “to fill people with wonder, and make them delight in an enormous God” is not the sin of pride, but the very mechanism of evangelism.
The truth whispers to me that a tall stool in a friendly kitchen, with seven children between us playing around, is as good a place as any to be commissioned to carry the message of God’s love. And may I carry that message of God’s love well and proudly. May I carry it without fear. May I carry it like the greatest treasure I possess.
The truth whispers to me, yes. Say yes. Say yes to your life. Say yes to your name. Say yes to the passion that lifts you, even into the very stars. And grow as tall a tree as God has planted.